“…his attitude is one of pervasive ambiguity: he was never completely at home anywhere and, even after he adopted British citizenship, he would sometimes sign himself ‘metoikos’, the Greek for resident alien.
He cultivated such distance and detachment as if by not fully belonging, or wholly participating, something of himself was preserved—something secret inviolable which he could nourish.” Peter Ackroyd, T. S. Eliot: a life p. 88
I don’t really compare myself to T. S. Eliot, but when I read this passage this morning it helped me think a bit about myself and my own attitude towards my daily life. I have always dreaded social contacts as far back as I remember. I trace the beginnings of this to being brought up in a preacher’s house where the family has to make appearances and is generally expected to attend most church functions and behave.
But now at the ripe old age of sixty-one I realize that even though I mix well and enjoy people, there is a side of me that finds socializing with people who see life very very differently than I do uncomfortable.
This is not true of everyone in my life. There’s my boss, my new friend Rhonda and her husband, and of course Eileen.
Resident alien is a good way to say it, not that there is a place I know of I would fit in any better. Thank goodness for music, books and the internet.
Last night I spent a good 45 minutes trying to get my netbook to talk to the internet well enough that I could use it to listen to online audio books. I finally gave up and came down stairs and got my new laptop. When it moved slowly I realized that it wasn’t just my netbook but also the website I was trying to use. Oy. Listened to BBC which worked fine.
This morning I am trying to clear my netbook of un-needed programs. When I did that with my desktop it sped up considerably. But my netbook is moving so slowly that this process itself is very very slow.